Arkansas Senate approves anti-gay “religious freedom” bill

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas inched closer Friday toward becoming the second state this year to adopt a law that critics say would sanction discrimination against gays and lesbians, with the state Senate approving a religious protection bill.

The bill, approved by the Senate 24-7, prevents state and local government from taking any action that substantially burdens someone’s religious beliefs unless a “compelling” interest is proven.

The measure heads for a final vote next week in the House, which has already approved an initial version. The proposal faces an easy path forward, because Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he’ll sign it into law.

One of the lawmakers behind the proposal said he didn’t believe the measure would lead to widespread discrimination.

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